Many fans of mountain sports often neglect the most important part of their body when it comes to hiking or mountaineering: feet. In this article, we aim to show a general guide and some tips that help us choose the right type of boot that we must use for the activity we are going to develop and for the type of terrain we are going to move.
We will have to choose our footwear based on the type of raids we used to do on the mountain. The activity that we are going to carry out together with the type of terrain we are going to move to and the time of year in which we will do this activity is the key. Before you go to the store we have to have these things very clear.
It is necessary to be aware that “for all” boots do not exist, and therefore it is advisable to have a pair of different mountain shoes for each condition (eg summer or winter) or only boots that fit the main type of route that we used to practice in the mountains. However, there are some common aspects that we will have to evaluate when making our choice, regardless of the use that we are going to give our boots. We are talking about the sole and the breathability.
Whether for hiking, trekking or mountaineering, the sole should always be non-slip and with
Whether for hiking, trekking or mountaineering, the sole should always be non-slip and with cleats. Today, the best thing is that we choose for Vibram sole: great grip and very resistant to abrasion. However, some brands make their own sole (eg Contagrip, Salomon brand). Although these “generic” soles usually show between mediocre and good results on easy terrain, they leave much to be desired in the face of more complicated terrain.
Mountain shoe soles
As can be seen in the images, the engraving of the soles is designed to expel the mud and elements that could stick. In addition, the distribution of the different densities of the sole, mainly the heel, will help us to cushion the shock impacts of our foot against the ground. The low-impact absorption soles transmit the perceptible waves from the sole to the base of the quadriceps (thigh), while in all technical soles it hardly reaches the knee. Also, the engraving of these soles is conceived so that in descents the heel retains the boot and does not skate, whereas in ascensions it obtains better adhesion thanks to the toe. For its part, the shape and strength of the sides provide a better grip of the foot in the quarters, avoiding sprains and injuries due to uneven terrain. Some soles have a pointed flange and heel to fit crampons with automatic fastening as we will discuss later.
Another important element that we have to evaluate when choosing our footwear will be the breathability or the capacity of the fabric/membrane of the shoe to evacuate the moisture and the sweat from its interior. If your footwear does not perspire enough, our feet will be wet from our sweat and even the water that may have entered them. The consequences will be cooling and bad body thermoregulation, as well as a breeding ground for chafing, blisters, and fungi in the most extreme cases.
Therefore, all boots with a low sole and low breathable membranes will be automatically discarded of our choice. With the other options that meet such requirements, we will begin to play taking into consideration other optional variables and that adapt in the best possible way to the conditions for which we want them. If you want boots which are designed with great breathability then we would recommend tactical boots. You can view some of the best tactical boots here.
If you usually go out on the mountain only on sunny days and with stable weather in spring or summer, you could choose non-waterproof boots and instead have a grid for better ventilation and breathability.
If you usually go out on the mountain only on sunny days and with stable weather in spring or summer, you could choose non-waterproof boots and instead have a grid for better ventilation and breathability. For all other cases, the impermeability of your boots will be imperative. In the mountains, time changes abruptly, and any downpour, however small, will make the feet remain silent without a good membrane. Equally, walking between puddles and snow (even on sunny days) will be easier if our boots are well waterproof. Of course, this factor is linked to breathability, so do not settle for just one of the two properties. If you choose waterproof boots, make sure you also have a good breathability.